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White Sox Thu Apr 16 2015

Plenty of Games Left for Streaky White Sox

Chicago White SoxDespite a loss yesterday afternoon, the White Sox are starting to heat up. They had won three in a row and are starting to jell. The team is starting to resemble the team that many folks thought they could be, a crew that can compete for the American League Central crown this year.

The streak follows up a four-game losing skid to start the year, one that raised serious concerns about what this team could accomplish. The Royals made the Sox look bad. It was starting to look like it was going to be a long year on the South Side.

OK... I'll drop the shtick. It's only been eight games. We still know nothing about the 2015 White Sox.

That's not to discount the games. They still are as important as any other games this season, and analyzing why the Sox won or lost them is a fair exercise. But to get worked up over a four game losing streak, to get pumped after winning three straight, or to take what happened with players or the team in the first week (or, even the first month) and use the numbers to generate a big picture idea of the White Sox is a waste of time.

After the Sox lost 6-0 on Friday, articles like this and this were written. It's understandable for fans to be a little upset that the Sox couldn't win any of the first four, but it's an extremely small sample. The team didn't have Chris Sale or Carlos Rodon, and three games were against the defending AL champs. Through eight games the point remains. Adam Eaton has a .118 OBP, Jeff Samardzija's ERA is 6.23, Adam LaRoche has done nothing but strike out, Gordon Beckham is slugging .700 and Matt Albers can't be touched. All those things will return to normal soon enough.

The four consecutive losses last week were only given special meaning because they started a season. In reality, they are no different than any other four losses in a row. Do you know how many times that has happened to the Sox throughout its history? According to, 538 times. That includes two four-game skids in 1963 (when the Sox won 94 games), two in 1964 (98), two in 1972 (87), three in 1977 (90), one in 1983 (99), four in 1990 (94), one in 1993 (94), two in 2000 (95), and one in the World Series year of 2005 (99). The Sox lost five in a row twice in 1959 (94 wins, AL pennant) and even seven straight in 2005.

Losing streaks happen in bad years, average years and great years. As for a three-game winning streak, searching for instances of that in White Sox history would probably break baseball-reference. It happens all the time, including six different times in 2013, when the Sox won 63 games.

In the days of overreaction, hot takes, 24/7 coverage, social media, the blogosphere and everything that makes digesting sports information easier, baseball still remains an endurance sport. One game matters, but only a little. One series matters, but only a little more. One week matters a little more. Even one month matters, but yet can be an aberration and discarded (like the 2005 Sox, who went 12-16 in August).

Baseball is about compiling the games, the series, the weeks and months, about taking all the hot streaks and slumps, all the plays decided by random chance, all the managerial decisions, all the good and bad breaks, all the player acquisitions and departures and all the games missed due to injury and putting everything together as a whole.

At this point, we don't know who will play the bulk of the season at each position for the Sox, and we don't know what the lineups will look like, what the rotation will be and how the bullpen will be used. It's cliché to say, but there is still a lot of baseball left to be played. Projections cannot be made yet.

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